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MEFA Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

MEFA loans don't offer deferment or forbearance, so they're best for borrowers with strong job security.
Oct. 5, 2018
Loans, Student Loans
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The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, known as MEFA, offers student loan refinancing and private student loans for undergrads and graduate students. Private student loan borrowers must live or go to college in Massachusetts. Any qualified borrower, however, can refinance existing student loans through MEFA.

Here we review MEFA’s refinance loan; you’ll find a review of its private student loan below. NerdWallet does not have enough information from MEFA to rate it or compare it with other lenders.

Review of MEFA’s private student loan

MEFA student loan refinancing

NerdWallet rating: Not rated

Unlike most other federal and private lenders, MEFA doesn’t let borrowers pause payments temporarily through deferment or forbearance. That means this loan is best for those who have stable incomes and don’t foresee needing breathing room in the future. You must also have made one year’s worth of on-time payments toward your loans before refinancing, and you’re ineligible if you’ve defaulted on student loans in the past.

MEFA student loan refinancing at a glance:

  • 10- and 15-year repayment terms available.
  • No late fees.
  • No co-signer release available.
MEFA
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 4.95% - 6.95%

Variable: 4.59% - 7.69%

Includes autopay discount of 0.25%
Loan terms10 or 15 years
Loan amounts$10,000 minimum
Co-signer release availableNo

MEFA student loan refinancing details

  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: No.

Compare MEFA’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate MEFA will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 670.
  • Minimum income: $24,000 per year.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 746.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: $72,000.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes, after five years.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Location: Available to borrowers in all 50 U.S. states.

  • Forbearance: None available.
  • Temporary modified payment term: Apply to lower your monthly payment for six months to two years, depending on your financial situation. There’s no guarantee that MEFA will grant you a modified term, and the modified term may increase the total amount of interest you pay.

  • Loan servicer: American Education Services.
  • Loan servicer contact information: Call (800) 233-0557 or email from your account online.

How to refinance with MEFA

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance, you can apply on MEFA’s website.

MEFA private student loan

NerdWallet rating: Not rated

MEFA’s student loans are available to Massachusetts residents and students attending school in the state. They don’t offer deferment or forbearance if you’re having trouble affording payments. That makes MEFA a good choice only for those who expect stable income after graduation.

MEFA private student loan at a glance:

  • Origination fee of 4% to 7% of the loan amount for undergraduate loans.
  • Co-signer release after 48 on-time payments.
  • Interest-only repayment option available while in school.
MEFA
Type of loanPrivate student loan
Loan terms10 or 15 years
Loan amountsMinimum: $2,000 for a private college, $1,500 for a public college; maximum: total cost of attendance minus other financial aid
Grace period6 months for undergraduates
Co-signer release availableYes
Related productsGraduate student loans

MEFA private student loan details

  • Application or origination fee: Yes; 4% to 7% of the loan amount, depending on whether you have a co-signer.
  • Interest rate options: Fixed rates only.

Compare MEFA’s range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate MEFA will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 670.
  • Minimum income: $24,000.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 749.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: MEFA does not calculate.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Location: Available to Massachusetts residents and students who attend college in the state.
  • Must be enrolled half-time or more: Yes.

In-school repayment options

  • Immediate: Begin making full monthly payments on the 28th day of the month after your last loan disbursement. Choose between 10-year and 15-year terms.
  • Deferred: You won’t be required to make any payments until your six-month grace period ends, but you can choose to make payments if you’d like. Interest will accrue while you’re in school and will capitalize, or get added to your principal balance, at the end of your grace period. This option comes with a 15-year term.
  • Interest-only: Pay only the interest while in school, starting on the 28th day of the month after your last loan disbursement. Begin paying down the principal balance after you graduate or leave school. This option comes with a 15-year term.

Post-school repayment options

  • Forbearance: None available.
  • Temporary modified payment term: Apply to lower your monthly payment for six months to two years, depending on your financial situation. There’s no guarantee that MEFA will grant you a modified term, and it may increase the total amount of interest you pay.

  • Loan servicer: American Education Services.
  • Loan servicer contact information: Call (800) 233-0557 or email from your account online.

How to apply for a MEFA student loan

Before taking out a MEFA student loan or any other private loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s FAFSA Guide

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you’re ready to borrow with MEFA, you can apply on its website.

STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution